Welcome to our new daily City Views column, bringing you despatches detailing life in the international cities that so many Hongkongers also call home. It takes either a supremely assured politician or a wilfully deaf one to ignore the pleas of his advisers. Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan may be a quadriplegic, but he is emphatically not deaf. Despite the pleas of all his political aides, he subjected himself to a no-holds-barred documentary about his life in the weeks leading up to his mayoralty campaign in 2005. Citizen Sam has not been widely released yet, but images and snippets are already emerging, forming part of the local mythology. 'I like the fact that people underestimate me,' says a solemn Mr Sullivan wheeling down a busy street. 'They pat me on the head and then I rip their throats out.' The documentary had its premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in November, capping off a year that has gone steadily downhill for the mayor. Last February, he was an international star after his flag-waving turn on stage at the Torino Winter Olympic Games. But his critics have been relentless ever since. He has lost support from party colleagues, who accuse him of minding a tight circle of advisers, and, now with the documentary, he has drawn the wrath of his usual critics and gained some new ones. The BC Coalition of Persons with Disabilities boycotted a luncheon with him over the documentary, with executive director Margaret Birrell saying the film was ill-advised. Mayor Sullivan says while parts of the documentary, like his vow to crush his opponent Jim Green's throat, are regrettable, he hopes viewers will see it overall as a portrait of a man who wants to win political office but is aware of the long odds against him. In a moment emblematic of the mayor's view of himself, the film reveals him trying to fit his wheelchair into his hotel bathroom when he finds out he wins the mayoralty race. In one sequence, he struggles to get out of a sweatshirt reluctant to turn loose his pale, frail body. He bleaches his teeth and in the midst of the campaign tries to angle more time to go to the tanning salon. Al Etmanski, a friend of the mayor and president of Plan, an advocacy group for parents of disabled children, said the documentary shatters the image of disabled people as being heroic. 'In society we want people with disability to be superhuman or be objects of our charity or pity. What we got was a human being and we saw the reality of his life.' It was also a view of a profane politician who mutters asides, yearns for public displays of admiration and chides himself in Cantonese - a language he learned by listening to tapes - not to be nervous before a radio debate. 'Every one of my political advisers told me I shouldn't do [the documentary]. I could be caught saying one unfortunate thing and I could destroy my career. There was not one upside and lots of downside,' said Mayor Sullivan. 'I regret some of the things I said. They were said in the heat of battle.' The downside is that the film shows an unedited version of the politician and man, said Melissa De Genova, a campaign worker for Mr Sullivan who has since denounced his tenure as mayor and left the party. The documentary points to two possibilities - either Mayor Sullivan is incredibly brave or unbelievably stupid to expose himself so fully. The verdict is still out.